Nyakrom (C/R), Aug. 10 GNA - Nana Kofi Agyekum, Agona District Chief Farmer, has said that a survey conducted in the area had revealed that many Cocoa Purchasing Clerks had adjusted their weighing scales. He said most of the Clerks claimed that the adjustment was to make up for the loss in weight when the cocoa beans, which might not be well dried at the time of purchase, dried.
He said cocoa beans that were not properly fermented and thoroughly dried apart from shrinking in its size and losing weight, also developed a lot of defects.
Nana Agyekum said this at farmers' rally organised by the Quality Control Division (QCD) of COCOBOD at Nyakrom, near Swedru in the Agona District of the Central Region.
He said cocoa farmers could help to check the cheating by Clerks if they attached importance to proper fermentation and drying of the beans before sending them to the shed to sell.
Mr Emmanual Pi-Bansa, Agona District Officer of QCD, said the aim of the rally was to whip up the enthusiasm of the farmers to produce good quality cocoa and to reduce the incidence of purple, slate and other defects in the beans.
He said the Programme was also aimed at encouraging the local consumption of cocoa products, especially among the farming community. Mr Pi-Bansa said a research had indicated that the cocoa beans had a medicinal value that prevented diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, saying this could contribute to the health of the people producing them as well.
Mr Lockhart K. Pepprah, Central Regional Manager of the Division, said it was hope that the seasons ahead would experience a dramatic reduction in the incidence of purple, slate and other defects in the beans.
He said there were indications that farmers were using the guidelines given them and were practising the seven-day fermentation period and allowing the beans to dry well.